|Arlington Park Barn Notes 06/15/03
In today's notes:
Starlex Farm's Private Son, allowed to settle early in Friday's grassy nine-furlong feature at Arlington Park, commenced a rally when set down for the drive and was up to be best by a half-length with a performance that left trainer Sally Schu very pleased.
"I thought he ran real well," said Schu. "I was hoping he'd get back to his best form and it looks like he's doing that now."
Private Son, a 5-year-old son of Miesque's Son out of a Private Account mare, was one of the better grass horses on the grounds last season, with a runner-up effort in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf as a highlight.
This summer's Stars and Stripes will have its 72nd renewal on July 5, and it looks like Private Son may be headed in the direction of that mile and a half turf test once again.
"I really haven't talked to Roy (owner Monroe) about a next step," said Schu, "but the Stars and Stripes or the (Grade III) Arlington Handicap (July 26) would both seem like possibilities. We'll wait and see how the horse does in the next few days before we make any decisions, but he came out of this last race well and seems to be headed in the right direction."
Following Private Son's runner-up finish in last year's Stars and Stripes, the Kentucky-bred ran fourth in the 2002 Arlington Handicap but was only beaten a length for all the money.
Other positive news from Schu's corner of Barn 9C includes the development of a pair of juvenile colts who should see their first action shortly.
"I have a 2-year-old by Pine Bluff who is full brother to Pineaff (Tampa Bay Derby winner)," said Schu, "and I also have a colt by Tejano Run whose half-sister is that filly Bear Fan, who has been running very well on the West Coast. Both those are coming along very nicely and should make their debuts sometime in the next month or so."
Dolphus Morrison's Rapid Proof, third in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs on June 7 and only beaten a nose for the place, came out of that race in good order and will be pointed for the Grade II Arlington Classic at Arlington Park June 28.
The Arlington Classic is the first leg of the northwestern Chicago oval's Mid-America Triple, which continues with the Grade II American Derby July 20 and then concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes August 16.
"We're pointing toward coming to you," said Rapid Proof's trainer Hal Wiggins over the phone from Louisville Sunday morning. "Everything is okay with him, he came back fine after the Jefferson Cup and we're looking forward to coming to Chicago for the Classic. In fact, the owner called me yesterday about recommending a place to stay while we're there.
"It will be kind of a working vacation for me," said Wiggins. "It gives us a chance to get away from Louisville for awhile and my wife (Renee) will get a chance to check on the kids." (The Wiggins' son Lon and his wife Robin have horses under their training care at Arlington).
Before finishing third in the Jefferson Cup behind Bob & Beverly Lewis's Senor Swinger, Rapid Proof had run fourth behind that same rival in the Grade III American Turf at the Twin Spires oval on Kentucky Oaks Day May 2.
"We've chased him twice now," said Wiggins of Senor Swinger. "Hopefully, he won't come to Chicago for the Classic."
Choctaw Racing Stable's For Rubies, three-length victress in Saturday's Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap, was doing well at Arlington Sunday morning and will return to trainer Lynn Whiting's Churchill Downs headquarters Sunday night.
Whiting, who saddled Lil E. Tee to win the 1992 Kentucky Derby for the late Cal Partee, returned to Louisville Sunday morning.
"For Rubies cooled out well and was doing fine this morning," said Whiting. "She rated wonderfully yesterday right behind (even-money favorite) Raging Fever, and when the jock asked her, she went right by her with ease. I have a lot of respect for that other filly (Raging Fever). We'll just take our time with our filly now and try to space her races out a little bit. We'll just keep our finger on the pulse and see what looks like a good spot next."
Edward P. Evans' Raging Fever, trained by Mark Hennig, left Arlington by van at 6:15 Sunday morning without incident.
Bluestem Farm Inc.'s Oglala Sue, third in the Chicago Breeders' Cup 'Cap, was also doing well Sunday morning according to trainer Hugh Robertson.
"I was very pleased with her race," said Robertson. "She came back fine. We'll look next at a little overnight stakes at Arlington or a little stake out in Nebraska. That's our two options at the moment."
Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis, fourth in the Chicago Breeders' Cup, was also in good order following the running.
"She went straight to her feed last night and is all bright and bouncy this morning," said trainer Tony Mitchell. "Sometimes after a hard race they look a little tucked up the next day but she's all full of herself."
Numerous nominees to Saturday's six-stakes Prairie State Festival for Illinois foals have been seen on the work tab over the last two mornings.
Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington's all-time leading reinsman, had a riding triple Saturday to move into fifth place in the current jockey standings at Arlington. Fires won the daily double with Peacock Stable's Gindigo for trainer Kerry Zavash in the opener and took the second race with Greg Derybowski & Hat Trick Racing Stable's Alex's Hot Fudge for trainer Dee Poulos. Fires then took the fifth with Peacock Stables Bay Raider for Zavash, giving that ownership group two wins and conditioner Zavash a training double.
Horsemen are reminded that Arlington's main track will close promptly at 10 a.m. Monday due to the upcoming 2-year-old sale.
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